By Justin Edwards
CBS News reported on Monday that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is plotting to poison salad bars and food buffets at multiple hotels and restaurants over a single weekend. While there is no specific or imminent threat, Homeland Security officials have determined the threats to be credible. You can see the CBS News video at this link: New Terror Threat Targets U.S. Food.
The Department of Homeland Security is pushing out a public document to raise awareness and to report suspicious activity. I received the document this morning and have uploaded here: If You See Something, Say Something. Please distribute to your business contacts, family, and friends, especially to those in the food industry. Even if you do not work in the food industry, some of the guidelines in the document should be acknowledged for when you visit restaurants and hotels, such as
- Person(s) taking notes, drawings, photos, or videos of your business
- Person(s) conducting surveillance of self-service areas (i.e., salad bars, condiment areas, and open bulk containers)
- Person(s) attempting to gain access to restricted or unauthorized areas
- Unattended vehicles illegally parked near your business
- Unattended items (e.g., backpacks, boxes) within or near your business
There is much chatter of terrorist activity among intelligence agencies, which is clearly overflowing into news sources these last couple of weeks. As there is a heightened state of alert over the holiday season due to critical threats of terrorism, please remember to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Should you see any sort of suspicious activity, do not hesitate to report to authorities.
For those who may have missed it on Monday, I provided some resources to help your family plan for major emergencies: Disaster Preparedness for Your Family.